More fire stations in Royal Berkshire will be hosting NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) blood donation sessions over the next few months.
With dates already planned for 2018, more residents of Royal Berkshire will be able to give blood at their local fire station, thanks to a partnership between Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) and NHSBT.
After Wokingham Fire Station became the first station to host blood donation sessions in April 2016, the partnership between RBFRS and NHSBT has proved so successful that all RBFRS fire stations that are big enough to support NHSBT operations have been approved as venues to host blood donation sessions.
Wokingham, Caversham Road, Langley, Slough and Newbury fire stations have already hosted sessions resulting in over 2,000 blood donations, which could help up to 6,000 patients.
Members of the public will now also be able to book appointments at Maidenhead, Whitley Wood and Bracknell fire stations.
Councillor Malcolm Alexander, RBFRS’ Lead Member for Collaboration said: “This is a significant milestone, especially when you consider that at this point last year we only had one fire station available to the NHSBT and we had only hosted two sessions.
“Now we can reach more people across Royal Berkshire. We will have eight fire stations, which will have hosted a total of 37 sessions by the end of 2017, and 85 sessions by the end of 2018.
“We’re delighted to work with the NHSBT and work towards our goal of bringing our fire stations into the heart of the communities they serve.”
Working with NHSBT is just one of the ways that RBFRS is delivering on its commitment to contribute to the broader safety, health and wellbeing of the communities it serves. In addition to providing its fire stations as venues for blood donation sessions, RBFRS also promotes the sessions in the local communities in an effort to encourage more people to donate.
Gayle Franklin, Area Manager for the South Midlands (which covers Berkshire) at NHSBT, said: “We are delighted that Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service continues to support the work of NHS Blood and Transplant, by allowing us to hold blood donor sessions at stations in Royal Berkshire. We look forward to seeing our regular donors and welcoming new donors too at these sessions.
Following this success at a local level, RBFRS is working nationally to improve partnership working between the NHSBT and fire and rescue services. Station Manager Luke Coleman has prepared guidance for other fire and rescue services on how the Berkshire model could be rolled out to stations elsewhere in the Country.
If you would like to give blood, please visit: www.blood.co.uk/ or call 0300 123 23 23 to make an appointment.